Rodriguez Keys Run as K-State Earns First Win in Brazil

Kansas State 79, Mogi Das Cruzes Club 72
Mogi Das Cruzes, Brazil
3 p.m. CST, Aug. 11, 2012

Who We Played:

Mogi Das Cruzes is a member of the National Brazilian Basketball (NBB) League, which is considered the top professional league in Brazil. Mogi Das Cruzes will be playing its first year in the NBB in 2012-13 after becoming one of the top two teams in another Brazilian professional league. The team is located in the northern part of the province of Sao Paulo, which is about an hour from the team’s hotel in Sao Jose.

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Starting Lineup:

  1. Angel Rodriguez
  2. Shane Southwell
  3. Rodney McGruder
  4. Nino Williams
  5. Adrian Diaz

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Top Performers:

  • Angel Rodriguez: 13 points, 5 assists (team high), 2 steals
  • Adrian Diaz: 13 points, 9 rebounds (tied team high), 2 blocks
  • Will Spradling: 12 points, hit at least two 3-pointers
  • Shane Southwell: 10 points (where ya been, bro?)
  • Nino Williams: 8 points, 9 rebounds (tied team high)

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What I Liked:

  • Adrian freakin' Diaz: The Miami native opened the second quarter with a field goal. Then, after a Mogi Das Cruzes 3-pointer cut the lead to 36-29, he converted on back-to-back thunderous dunks, propelling K-State to a 40-32 halftime lead. He finished with a near double-double.
  • Another fast start: K-State jumped to a big lead in the first quarter, building as much as an 11-point lead. A 3-pointer by Rodriguez gave the Wildcats a 13-5 lead midway through the opening quarter.
  • Hot shooting leads to hot stats: K-State shot 41.4 percent (29 of 70) from the field, including 46.2 percent (6 of 13) from 3-point range, to go with 44 rebounds, 16 assists, seven steals and five blocks.
  • La Flamba Blanca: Will Spradling hit at least two 3-pointers in the game. Nice to have you back, kid.
  • More balance: Nine players scored in the first quarter, led by Shane Southwell's nine points. Four players finished in double figures.
  • Putting the hammer down: With the score knotted at 59-all in the fourth quarter, Rodriguez hit a big 3-point field goal from the top of the key to start a 20-4 run. The Wildcats scored eight quick points on the Rodriguez 3, a Williams basket, and a Diaz free throw and lay-up.

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What I Didn't Like:

  • Halftime adjustments: Whatever Bruce Weber said at the break, it didn't work. Mogi Das Cruzes made its move in the third quarter, using an 11-3 run to close to within 49-46 with 3:20 left. Later, the club scored five of the last seven points to trail just 55-53 heading into the final quarter.
  • Return of the free-throw woes: After connecting on 13 of 15 free throw attempts versus Sao Jose on Friday, the squad hit just 65.2 percent (15 of 23) of its attempts against Mogi Das Cruzes. Boo.
  • Where are the referees? The start of the game was delayed because there were no officials. I'm not even kidding. A guy from the club team's bench had to ref, as did newly announced graduate assistant Dustin Yoder. Who's running this crackerjack tour, anyway?
  • Where are the veterans? Other than Jordan Henriquez, our veterans have been invisible in this thing. Rodney McGruder made a bit of an impact in the first game, but was nonexistent Saturday. And I haven't seen the names Martavious Irving and Omari Lawrence come up once during this tour. Is it substitution patterns? Is it something the other teams are doing? What gives?

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What Weber Said:

It was another hard-fought game against a veteran team that knows how to play. Just like yesterday, we jumped out to a good lead then they rallied back.

I called a timeout with the score tied (59-all) in the fourth quarter and told the team we are at the same exact point as yesterday. We need to respond in a different way.

It all started with a 3-pointer from Angel then Nino made a big steal. We made the other team fall apart. It was a big step for our guys to make plays when it counted.

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Who We Play Next:

K-State begins the trek to Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, which is a five-hour bus trip from Sao Paulo.

The excursion will be broken up with the third game of the trip against Pingdamonhangaba Club at 9 a.m. CST.

The traveling party should arrive in Rio by early Sunday night.

For updates on the game, follow kstate_gameday on Twitter.

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